Dubai awaits JatAfter more than a year the national carrier of Serbia will resume flights to Dubai on April 01, 2010. The decision was made after Jat reached an agreement for a lucrative special prorate agreement (SPA) with Emirates Airlines to be signed.
Over a year ago Jat was forced to terminate flights to Dubai after Emirates decided to end cooperation with all smaller European airlines. Jat primarily operated flights to Dubai for its passengers to and from Australia which could connect via Dubai to and from several Australian cities. With a reshuffling at the top of Emirates in the second half of 2009, the airline changed its policy and invited Jat for talks in November 2009 which were successfully completed a few days ago. In May 2009 Jat began services to Abu Dhabi in hope it could transfer passengers to Australia with Etihad Airways. However, the service was not overwhelmingly popular as it recorded smaller passenger numbers and connections to the Australian continent were almost non existent.
In 2007 Jat’s most profitable international office was Sydney, beating traditional rivals Zurich and Podgorica. The results were extremely successful thanks to the cooperation with Emirates. The Serbian carrier will hope to reproduce these results again this year.
Jat will operate the flights 2 times per week, increasing to 3 on May 10. The airline will use its new Boeing B737-700 on the route thus making it non stop. Still, in order for the airline to list the flights in reservation and booking systems it has added them as operating via Larnaca using the Boeing B737-300 until the order for the 2 Boeing 737-700s is finalised. Once it is, it will be modified in the system and the departure time from Belgrade will be shifted by 1 to 2 hours.
As a result, Jat will terminate flights to Abu Dhabi on February 04. Thanks to the new Dubai flights passengers from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth in Australia and Auckland and Christchurch in New Zealand will have the ability to connect to Belgrade via Dubai within 2 hours upon landing. Jat will place services from Belgrade to Skopje and Ohrid in the afternoon so Macedonian passengers living in Australia can also use the new flights. As Dubai is a popular tourist destination Jat will hope to have tourists travelling solely on the Belgrade – Dubai sector. The airline is also pinning its hopes on the growing Serbian diaspora in the United Arab Emirates to boost passenger numbers as well.